Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The angry right

At the bottom of this post about the McCain/New School affair, I complained that whenever the left speaks up, the wingnuts always complain about "incivility", dispite the constant stream of vituperation that spews forth from the wingnut noise machine. Glen Greenwald has a much lengthier, well-researched post on this phenomenon here.
 
Don't let fear of being labled "angry" prevent you from speaking the truth. Karl Rove used this trick against Kerry, and I think he fell for it. It's especially annoying when war supporters denounce war opponents as being "excessively angry". It is ridiculous for someone advocating the use of horrible violence (and war, even if justified, is certainly horrible violence) to accuse someone opposing violence of excessive anger. That is saying that heckling and chanting is somehow more impolite than bombing and invading. What a crock.
 
These smears of the anti-war movement are particularly laughable given that the majority of Americans think that the war was a bad idea. But much of the media still treat opposition to Bush and the Iraq war as some sort of crazy fringe thing. It is not. It's mainstream. It's normal. The Bush administration is now the wacky out-of-touch group. Not that majority support of something makes it right. It just means it isn't "fringe".
 
Keep your ears open for mainstream opinions presented as radical-left impositions (e.g. abortion should be legal) and screwball wingnut ideas presented as if the majority of Americans have always supported them (e.g. eliminating the estate tax). One of the favorite strategies of the right is to repeat an idea so many times from so many different directions that it sounds mainstream just because it sounds familiar. It may be just as dumb as when some pundit started floating it back in 1993, but it gains credibility through sheer force of repetition. But now you know about it, and so it won't work on you. As long as you stay alert. And read Internal Monologue. And tell all your friends about it. And make its author into an icon of the progressive blogosphere.

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